Salma Hayek is a bombshell Hollywood superstar, a hard-working mom, and now the voice of a new campaign from UNICEF and Pampers called the "One Pack = One Vaccine" program, which works to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing nations. Through May 1, 2009, every time you buy a pack of Pampers (with the UNICEF logo), Pampers will purchase one life-saving tetanus vaccine for a mother and her newborn. It might have been a long day of press conferences and interviews (by the time it was my turn, she had kicked off her tall, black boots and was sitting on her feet in a chair), but she was still energized and passionate about everything -- from saving babies in Asia, to her own baby, 16-month old Valentina. (And yes, she changes Valentina's diapers.)
Did you get involved with One Pack = One Vaccine because you're a mom?
Salma Hayek: I would have gotten involved anyway. It took a lot of courage, though, because when you have a child, you don't want to be associated with child disease. You don't want to think about it. You don't want to see it. You don't want to be heartbroken about it. It's just too much to bear. If anything, in a way, it makes you not want to get involved. Of course in another way you do, because you are a lot more sensitive and you feel more vulnerable. It gets to you deeper.
How has being a mom changed you?
SH: How has Valentina changed me? Babies keep you so busy that you don't have time to think about it. You're just in it. I do many other things, too. What does not change is that I am in awe every day and I am mesmerized by her, and the fascination in just looking at her. And the gratitude that she's in my life every day. Thank you for coming! I hope it stays with me until I die.
What kept you thinking forward and positively on your trip to Africa? It must have been difficult.
SH:The work and staff of UNICEF was very inspiring. I had no idea how difficult it was to bring these vaccinations. Everything that could be chaotic and go wrong did. Every day they go through it. It's one hundred times more work than we could imagine, from the logistics to educating people to corruption to the nature of the country, the climate of the country, the poverty of the country. Everything. It's an uphill battle.